Quick Getaways

The Best Bookworm Vacation May Be to San Antonio

A weekend getaway with only reading in mind.

By Gwendolyn Knapp February 1, 2019

The vibrant River Walk.

Love to read and looking for a fun weekend getaway this spring and summer? You might consider a road trip to San Antonio. While the city certainly boasts numerous reasons to pay a visit—the history, the attractionsthe food, the beautiful River Walk—it's also packed with things bookworms, especially, will love.

That includes quirky book shops, stunning libraries,  historic hotels that have hosted literati and a few great events for published authors and their fans.

Here’s where to get started.   

San Antonio Book Festival, April 6

This full day of free events for readers young and old is held at the San Antonio Central Library and the Southwest School of Art with author presentations, cooking demos, panel discussions, signings, theater performances to delight readers young and old, along with a tech area and book sales galore. Check out the full lineup at saplf.org/festival.

Gemini Ink Writers Conference, July 20-22

The city’s literary nonprofit, which offers year-round creative writing workshops and author readings, throws down with a full schedule of workshops, readings, panel presentations and a small press book fair for literati and readers in the know, held at El Tropicano Hotel on the River Walk. Make sure to check out the full lineup at geminiink.org.

Don’t Miss

  • The 240,000 square-foot San Antonio Central Library, designed by renowned Mexican architect Ricardo Legoretta, boasts a signature “enchilda red” exterior, an expansive art gallery, and an expanded collection of Latino texts, a used book store and more. 600 Soledad Street
  • The Landa Library, housed inside a former residence — a Italian-style stucco home built in 1929 — the now public collection is surrounded by five acres, including a playground, a dreamy escape for readers of all ages. 233 Bushnell Ave
  • The Twig Bookshop, open since 1972, boasts a vast collection for children and adults ranging from newly released bestsellers to award-winning classics in the popular Pearl district. 306 Pearl Parkway.
  • Cheever Books in the Broadway Cultural Corridor is stacked from floor to ceiling with rare books that will capture any collector’s heart. 3613 Broadway St.
  • Families with kids in town might want to scope out the The Magik Theatre, which puts on productions of children’s classics and contemporary literature in the historic Beethoven Hall at Hemisfair Park yearly. This season look for Dr. Seuss's "The Cat in the Hat,"  "Mariachi Girl,"  Roald Dahl's "Willy Wonka" and "The Very Hungry Caterpillar." For upcoming shows and tickets, visit magiktheatre.org. 

Where to spend the night

The historic Menger Hotel is a Literary Landmark, as designated by United for Libraries, a division of the American Library Association, that’s hosted the likes of Oscar Wilde, O. Henry, Robert Frost and more. Book at mengerhotel.com.

Hotel Emma, housed in a former 19th century brewery, has its own hotel library including a 3,700-piece collection acquired from novelist and cultural anthropologist Sherry Kafka Wagner. Book at thehotelemma.com. 

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